Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, warned against prematurely declaring victory over the pandemic, not only due to short-term needs but because long COVID represents an "insidious" public health emergency for millions of people, British newspaper The Guardian has reported.
Fauci urged U.S. Congress to avoid complacency and resume funding to combat the virus as well as long COVID, a chronic and prolonged illness that continues to elude scientists and healthcare providers, said The Guardian in its recent report.
Between 7.5 million and 23 million Americans are estimated to have developed long COVID. More than 1 million people could be out of the workforce at any given time, resulting in a loss of more than 50 billion U.S. dollars in income, said the report.
"One of the unfortunate, challenging and frustrating parts about it is that there are so many elements of it that don't fit into a known or recognizable pathogenic process," Fauci was quoted as saying.
Long COVID, or post COVID-19 condition, refers collectively to the constellation of long-term symptoms that some people experience after they have had COVID-19. Some people develop a variety of mid and long term effects like fatigue, breathlessness and cognitive dysfunction, the World Health Organization defined.